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Serbia To Hold First Gay Pride March Since 2010

Authorities in Serbia have permitted the country's first Gay Pride march since 2010.

Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said on September 26 authorities had decided not to ban the September 28 march but still reserved the right to cancel it if the threat to security was too great.

Serbia banned the march after hardline nationalists and football hooligans attacked marchers and fought running battles with police in Belgrade in 2010.

However, the country came under pressure from the European Union, which says the event is a test of Serbia's commitment to the fundamental freedoms promoted by the bloc. Serbia pursues EU membership talks.

Homophobia is widespread in Serbia, often supported by church leaders, and right-wing parties.

The head of Serbia's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, condemned the march.

Based on reporting by Reuters and ITAR-TASS

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